New workstation: Roland Fantom 06/07/08

Especially if it’s one with Fantom standard. I can do without aftertouch and could accept an about average keybed, if the workflow’s solid.

Local dealer told me workstations are a dead concept. No one cares. Yet, they keep putting out new models. I’m thinking, dealer’s wrong on this one :slight_smile:

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Although I’ve only demoed the more expensive Fantom I didn’t like the keybed much.

But to be honest I’ve not liked any keybed since the Korg Oasys and Virus Ti.

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I had a fantom 6 and loved it. Just too expensive…so this might be the way to go for me.

Just ordered an MC707…to use as a sound module…hmmm.

Then I guess you can save money that would have been wasted on an allegedly better keybed/keys, unless you find another difference.

I quickly took a look at the Roland site and noticed the more expensive Fantom has CV jacks and 600MB sample memory vs 250-something on the 0. Dunno if you care about those but I’m sure several others do.

If the 06 had waterfall keys, I’d be more tempted, as the keyboard would then be a better fit for the organ engine.


Arent workstations just Ipads with a nice midi keyboard attached? I think their the hardest sell now.

I never owned a workstation but I own an MPC One which receive such comments as well. Personally, I feel that if the software and hardware integration is done well, it is a much better experience than an iPad with a controller. Again, for me, the reason is that every button is there for a reason, the UI/UX of the software is optimized for the controller and for the job. My MPC, and probably those workstation as well, also have audio and midi interfaces built-in which if using an iPad, it quickly becomes a rats nest of wires, USB Hubs, etc.

I often dreamed though of a very refined software for iPad, that could make use of a dedicated controller something the kind of Machine MK3 or Ableton Push.

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Chopsquad does a walkthrough of creating one pattern from scratch. One workflow improvement I see over the MC-707 is the count-in setting is easier to get to - less menu-diving. Calculator-style view for punching in the tempo is also a nice touch.

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You can though Midi map a good Midi controller with assignable knobs sliders etc. Once its done you dont have to do it again. So each knob as you say has a function.

The Fantom 07 is half the price of the Fantom 7. Think it will be my next purchase.


Audiobus forum is full of iPad enthusiasts who start GAS threads about hardware - SP-404 Mark II, MPC One, MPC Live 2…

The iPad enthusiast who can truly stay faithful to the iPad is a rare creature indeed. More often than not peeps fall prey to GAS and accumulate a hardware stable to go with the iPad(s)

Somebody will start a Fantom 0 thread there very soon if it’s not there already. It’s inevitable. Assuming the USB implementation will play nice with IOS - and if doesn’t there will still be posts just to moan about it… Probably won’t play nice with IOS because the reference manual mentions USB drivers

Sonic superpower

The FANTOM-07 synth engine is based on Partials. Each Partial comprises a discrete synth voice, complete with oscillator, filter, amplifier, dual LFO, and effects. You can pack up to four Partials into a single Tone, and up to 16 Tones in a scene, which makes for mind-boggling complex layers, splits, and sequenced parts. With all this firepower, you can focus on creating music, not conserving processing power; you won’t have to concern yourself with how many effects you can use or if you can change sounds seamlessly without affecting complex patches. With the massive power available in FANTOM-07’s engine room, you can run all 16 parts concurrently with all available effects and full patch remain.


They do a lot of talking but do not say how much polyphony it has.

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I had a Fantom 6 but only for a short period of time. I loved the sequencer but was not sure if you could use the sequence with external synths…I cant imaging you couldnt but I need to make sure the 07 I might order in a few will do that.

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Fantom SuperNATURAL appears to be similar, at least in concept, to Yamaha’s Super Articulation technology

This demo on the Fantom 0 includes a SuperNATURAL trumpet

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I’m unclear on exactly how V-Piano and SuperNatural stack up. IIRC, there were one or more top-end “V-Piano” products, but SuperNatural seemed to show up in more synthy products.

I lost interest because even PianoTeq doesn’t seem to allow Cage-levels of “preparation”, and multisampled pianos generally sound good enough to my ears.

Hopefully there are Elektronauts who have more experience with V-Piano or SuperNatural pianos that can help clear things up.

I know I can get a nice Casio digital piano with a decent hammer-action keybed for about $1k. I think if I was going to get serious about learning to play keys by taking piano lessons I might prefer to spend $2k on the Roland 08 to get the sequencer, sampler, much deeper instrument models, and of course all of the classic Roland samples, patches and sound design tools.

According to this, V-Piano and SuperNatural are two different engines.

V-Piano - Piano Component Object Sound Modeling, or Piano COSM
SuperNatural - Sampling combined with modeling (borrowed from V-Piano for SuperNatural piano)

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Agreed on the polyphony question. The MC’s run out of voices very quickly using some patches. It would be good to know if this is exactly the same engine, or has been upgraded with more processing ability.

The Fantom platform is different in that it also has the SuperNatural engine and the Virtual Tonewheel organ engine in addition to the ZenCore found in the MCs. The MCs have ZenCore only.

I guess Roland will eventually update the website after enough peeps holler at them for omitting oft-requested specs like that.

They do have an article that says 256 note max polyphony for the full Fantom - no mention of Fantom 0 because the article is too old:

I have a Privia that was pretty decent for the money (about $600). The lowest 2 octaves of the keyboard were damaged by a visiting pianist from Finland - just not designed to handle his intense, heavy-handed style. I had it repaired but it was never good as new.

After several years of not really playing keys, the CT-S1 has proven to be adequate for my use, which is taking the Jazz Chords for Beginners course on Open Studio, learning the main piano part to the Roy Ayers classic “Everybody Loves the Sunshine”, working out bits I want to enter into a sequencer later, etc.

That all said, the larger Fantom 0s do have undeniable appeal for those who do need more than 61 keys.

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Indeed, but I’ve never found it to be as good as as dedicated device. And the issue of having a bunch of cables, a USB hub, the audio interface, etc, still remains.

I’m not saying it’s not good. I have Logic Pro and a midi controller and like it as well, but personally, I realized I gravitated more and did more music using my MPC just because it’s much simpler to get set up and going.

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I enjoyed the Fantom that I tried out a while back pre pandemic at Guitar Center. One of my favorite new wave bands OMD used them live.